Sunday will see a matchup of ranked Big East foes when No. 25 Marquette visits No. 12 Xavier. The Golden Eagles and the Musketeers are both sitting at 6-1 in conference play, and are riding win streaks of at least five games on both sides.
Marquette has won five straight, while Xavier has not lost in its last 10 contests. Both teams are highly efficient at the offensive end, as each ranks in the Top 10 in points per game. As such, this makes for a great matchup for fans who like lots of points.
But where does the betting value lie in this contest? That’s what we’re here to help you determine. Let’s dive into all the action with our Marquette vs Xavier picks and predictions for Sunday, January 15.
Marquette vs Xavier best odds
Marquette vs Xavier picks and predictions
Xavier’s offense has been outstanding this season. Ranked third in scoring per game, the Musketeers pace college basketball with more than 21 assists per contest, and a rate of 0.69 assists per basket made.
Souley Boum is the man with the keys to Xavier’s car. The 6-foot-3 senior is shooting better than 50% from the floor this season, and leads the team with 17.7 points per game. He’s also averaging nearly 4.5 rebounds and five assists per contest.
Boum took over with 26 points and eight dimes in their narrow three-point win over Creighton on Wednesday. He’s been getting more involved over the past couple of games, as his previous contest saw him drop 22 points and six assists while grabbing 10 boards.
His Marquette counterpart – Tyler Kolek – isn’t as dynamic of a threat, but he loves to distribute the ball. Kolek averages eight assists per game, the third-best average in college hoops. Much of his game derives from his ability to get into the lane, typically on ball screens with his big men. It leads to lots of good looks, which is why they rank Top 5 in KenPom offensive efficiency.
I see a few reasons why you should look at Boum’s points, rebounds, and assists total for this contest. First of all, this should be a tight game. Both of these teams are ruthlessly efficient at the offensive end, with both teams ranked in the Top 3 in effective field goal percentage. This means there will be plenty of opportunities for assists for both point guards.
It also means that the point guards will likely have the ball in their hands down the stretch. Boum had nine points and four assists in the final eight minutes of Xavier’s win over Creighton, including four made free throws in the final five seconds.
Kolek’s ability to get into the lane also means that Boum will find himself in a solid position to grab some rebounds in this contest. He’s hauled in at least five boards in each of his last four games, a number I expect him to easily eclipse here.
With the defensive issues Marquette has, and the high pace with which these two teams get up and down the floor, I’ll be surprised if he isn’t racking up the points and assists as well. Take Boum to easily get more than 30 combined points, rebounds, and assists in what should be a very entertaining tilt.
My best bet: Souley Boum Over 30.5 points/rebounds/assists (-120 at DraftKings)
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Marquette vs Xavier spread analysis
Marquette is getting 3.5 points in this game, but that’s not enough according to the Covers Consensus. Nearly two-thirds of picks and more than half the money is coming in on the Musketeers to cover, and understandably so.
Of Xavier’s three defeats this season, two came to Gonzaga and one to Duke by a combined 11 points. The Musketeers have won all 12 games in which they’ve been favored, and they’ve covered the spread in four straight and five of their last six.
The Golden Eagles have been even better against the spread. Their last five games have seen them cover the number, as have seven of their last eight. That said, the favorite tends to cover in their head-to-head meetings with Xavier, with a 7-3 record ATS in the last 10 matchups.
Marquette has been much better against the spread on the road, however, than Xavier has been at home. The Golden Eagles have covered in four of their five away contests, while the Musketeers have only covered in half of their 10 games at home.
One area that could decide this game is rebounding. Xavier ranks 61st in defensive rebound rate and 114th in offensive rebound rate, while Marquette ranks 287th in defensive rebounding rate and 280th in offensive rebounding rate. If Xavier is able to get some second-chance points and prevent opportunities for Marquette, that should tilt the odds of covering in its favor.
Marquette vs Xavier Over/Under analysis
The total for this game opened at around 166 points, but was bet down overnight. That falls in line with the Covers Consensus picks as well, with more than half the picks coming on the Under – although more money has been placed on the Over.
Even with how much these teams put the ball in the basket, there are arguments for the Under. Xavier shoots the ball very well from the outside, ranked second in the country in 3-point percentage with all five starters shooting 40% or better.
That said, the Musketeers don’t take many. They rank 305th in attempts per contest, and just 159th in made threes per game. Marquette loves to take threes, but their percentage of makes are not as high. Just 35.3% of the Golden Eagles’ outside efforts are successful. With how poorly both teams defend, it will likely come down to whether Marquette can get open looks – and whether Xavier would rather get easier baskets inside.
The total in this game is by far the highest of the season for Marquette, and in just three of its last eight games has that number been reached – and one of those came in double overtime. However, the Over is 5-1 in their last six contests.
As for Xavier, this is the second time in five games the Musketeers have seen a total of over 163 points – and the previous one hit 163 on the nose. That said, their last three games have all gone Over, as have seven of their last 10 (with a push). Both teams have also been going Over when playing teams with a .600 or better record, with the Over coming through in eight of Xavier’s last 10 games against such opposition.
Marquette vs Xavier betting trend to know
The favorite has covered in seven of the last 10 meetings between these two teams. Find more College basketball betting trends for Marquette vs. Xavier.
Marquette vs Xavier game info
|Location:||Cintas Center, Cincinnati, OH|
|Date:||Sunday, January 15, 2023|
|Tip-off:||12:00 p.m. ET|